Note: This post is updated as of the 2023 NFL Season. Players listed for teams may not play for those teams anymore but are considered legends of the franchise who would enter Canton as members of that team.
It is easy to look across the current rosters of all 32 teams and check off the likes of Brady, Mahomes, the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees, Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers as the current players with the best chance of becoming Hall of Famers one day. Instead of rattling off the top quarterbacks, let’s take a look at which position player — non-quarterback — is his current team’s best chance to one day make the Hall of Fame.
Just as the selectors in the room, yes ZOOM meeting rooms in this the case of this year’s class, have no set criteria for what a Hall of Famer looks like, our criteria factors in career stats, All-Pro selections, Pro Bowls, postseason honors, and playoff success when deciding who will represent each team.
Not every team currently has a player that can be identified as a “lock” to make the Hall of Fame, but that won’t stop us from projecting someone to breakout and have that kind of career.
Ahead of this year’s Hall of Fame class being revealed, here are our picks for a handful of team’s most likely non-quarterback to one day gain enshrinement in Canton.
Most likely non-QB future Hall of Famer (Updated 2023)
One of the greatest wide receivers of all time, and certainly among the most dominant of his era, Fitzgerald will likely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer sometime around 2026.
Playing his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals, including making one trip to the Super Bowl, Fitzgerald is the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver, trailing Jerry Rice by 5,403 yards. Fitzgerald ranks sixth all time in receiving touchdowns, and leads all active receivers.
An 11-time Pro Bowler, Fitzgerald was named a First-Team All-Pro in 2008, and led the NFL in receptions twice and receiving yards twice during his illustrious career.
Fitzgerald is also a Walter Payton Man of The Year winner and has played his entire career for the Arizona Cardinals. There might not be a better ambassador for the game or his franchise than Fitzgerald is to the Cardinals. Those things mattter during any Hall of Fame debate.
If there is one guaranteed lock on this list, it is that Larry Fitzgerald will only have to wait five years to be fitted for his Gold Jacket.